The breaking of a wave cannot explain the whole sea.
Complacency is a state of mind that exists only in retrospective: it has to be shattered before being ascertained.
The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.
Life is a great sunrise. I do not see why death should not be an even greater one.
The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness.
I think it is all a matter of love: the more you love a memory, the stronger and stranger it is.
Caress the detail, the divine detail.
Nothing revives the past so completely as a smell that was once associated with it.
Existence is a series of footnotes to a vast, obscure, unfinished masterpiece.
Satire is a lesson, parody is a game.
To play safe, I prefer to accept only one type of power: the power of art over trash, the triumph of magic over the brute.
There is only one school of literature - that of talent.
Literature and butterflies are the two sweetest passions known to man.
It is a short walk from the hallelujah to the hoot.
Nothing is more exhilarating than philistine vulgarity.
I think like a genius, I write like a distinguished author, and I speak like a child.
There is nothing in the world that I loathe more than group activity, that communal bath where the hairy and slippery mix in a multiplication of mediocrity.
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
It is hard, I submit, to loathe bloodshed, including war, more than I do, but it is still harder to exceed my loathing of the very nature of totalitarian states in which massacre is only an administrative detail.
I confess, I do not believe in time.
Revelation can be more perilous than Revolution.
The more gifted and talkative one's characters are, the greater the chances of their resembling the author in tone or tint of mind.
Imagination, the supreme delight of the immortal and the immature, should be limited. In order to enjoy life, we should not enjoy it too much.
Style and Structure are the essence of a book; great ideas are hogwash.
A writer should have the precision of a poet and the imagination of a scientist.
The evolution of sense is, in a sense, the evolution of nonsense.
Genius is an African who dreams up snow.
All my stories are webs of style and none seems at first blush to contain much kinetic matter. For me style is matter.
There are aphorisms that, like airplanes, stay up only while they are in motion.
A work of art has no importance whatever to society. It is only important to the individual.
I have often noticed that after I had bestowed on the characters of my novels some treasured item of my past, it would pine away in the artificial world where I had so abruptly placed it.
I cannot conceive how anybody in his right mind should go to a psychoanalyst.
The good, the admirable reader identifies himself not with the boy or the girl in the book, but with the mind that conceived and composed that book.
Discussion in class, which means letting twenty young blockheads and two cocky neurotics discuss something that neither their teacher nor they know.
Turning one's novel into a movie script is rather like making a series of sketches for a painting that has long ago been finished and framed.
Happy is the novelist who manages to preserve an actual love letter that he received when he was young within a work of fiction, embedded in it like a clean bullet in flabby flesh and quite secure there, among spurious lives.
Poetry involves the mysteries of the irrational perceived through rational words.
Some people, and I am one of them, hate happy ends. We feel cheated. Harm is the norm.
You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style.
I would like to spare the time and effort of hack reviewers and, generally, persons who move their lips when reading.
No author has created with less emphasis such pathetic characters as Chekhov has.
A masterpiece of fiction is an original world and as such is not likely to fit the world of the reader.
A novelist is, like all mortals, more fully at home on the surface of the present than in the ooze of the past.